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Old February 14th, 2007, 03:11 AM   #881
Eerik
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But of course there are no promises the Four Seasons tower and Legg tower will be built at the same time...
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Old February 14th, 2007, 03:20 AM   #882
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Originally Posted by baltimoreisbest View Post
Eerik, you are correct about Pratt St....sort of. East Pratt remains a healthy business corridor, and I think it always will be. You have Harborplace and the Power Plant. West of Light Street is where problems occur, partly because of the horrible design of the Federal Courthouse. There has been virtually no office development on that West part since the mid-80s. As I said, I think University of Maryland and some of the local institutions around there, plus Camden Yards, the Convention Center complex, etc., will be the main anchors. Let's see where Citigroup sends its brokers, which it's not likely to lay off. Legg's former brokers were reported to be better performing than some existing SmithBarney ones. My hope is that SmithBarney stays in 100 Light, along with FBW, to anchor the building as a "financial services" facility -- which the interior, presumably, is configured to be. Ferris Baker Watts is currently about where Legg Mason was 15 years ago. Maybe 100 Light will be the setting of its success story, just as the building was Legg Mason's.

I think we'll know the short-term verdict on Pratt once the remaining lease announcements come through. So far, the Legg Mason merger with Citigroup has served us well; we kept and picked up a number of jobs with Stifel Nicolaus, and we'll gain jobs with Legg Mason. Let's see what Citi and FBW do. The long-term verdict will obviously reflect vacancies 3-5 years hence and what, if anything, a Pratt St. redesign will do to improve the quality of life for the street's corporate tenants.

Overall, it's been a great couple of months for Baltimore -- Legg, SN, and the Hopkins Business School. Whew.
Not stating the Pratt Street corridor is by any means in a state of decline, simply the "focus" of the CBD seems to be shifting southeast. Charles Center once commanded the highest rents; now it's Pratt Street. Will Harbor East be next?

As for the current Legg tower, I'm still worried about it. Whenever you have that much space go on market, it has a big impact. It not only puts a big chunk of space on the market, but drives down rental rates as well. Of course that's what happened when USF&G folded; but as predicted, Legg Mason moved out of the Gallery Tower and two blocks west. Who will do that this time? We're still barely at a positive absorption rate for space in the city. Even with the 300 Owings Mills transplants, we barely make a dent in jobs lost...
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Old February 14th, 2007, 04:04 AM   #883
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
To respond to Wada:

Well, this means they are leaving the downtown for the rim (less preferable), and now we have vacant space in a premier office building. So, we kind of shifting around again in favor of waterfrontness. Why don't they just build offices under water?

Mason:

Well, according to BBJ, it certainly sounded like they were refering to the discrete space of Harbor Point and not any of H&S remaining holdings in proper Fells Point next to the Eden. Although, these newspapers mangage to get stuff wrong FAR too often these days....

Nate
You won't be happy until ALL of the businesses leaves Baltimore and ALL of the existing Office Towes are torn down and replaced with junk yards, trees, and worned out train tracks.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 04:04 AM   #884
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Man I love the news on the Four Seasons, I remember a couple years back when I became a member on this board someone said that a towering Baltimore would never happen (or something along those lines) and since then old project were brought back to life and about 6 surprise projects came from nowhere for the CBD. Then a few days ago BCCC harbor campus pondering selling. I Think we all willed this to happen, now all that needs to happen is for the Examiner building to go up for sale lol. Naw but it’s like the city is experiencing super natural success. You have DC to the south and Philly and NYC to the north and this city is successfully developing and redeveloping into an even greater city
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Old February 14th, 2007, 04:27 AM   #885
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You won't be happy until ALL of the businesses leaves Baltimore and ALL of the existing Office Towes are torn down and replaced with junk yards, trees, and worned out train tracks.
I don't even know where you pull this crap from. As I've said, Baltimore isn't a roaring success story, and nothing about this move guarantees the welfare of the city's future, but this is a lot better than an out-migration.

Eerik, my major concern wouldn't be filling the 100 Light Street tower. Provided better parking and some minor refurbishments inside and out to suit the needs of a new tenant/tenants, I think this is the most likely space to fill up. Perhaps not entirely, but I would feel comfortable with an 80% guestimate.

What is worse is that it will now take a very long time for existing vacancies (the Bank of America tower, 750 E Pratt, and 250 W Pratt, not to mention the newly-renovated Verizon building) to fill, and it will slow down downtown development somewhat. I doubt anything gets started on 1 Light in the next 2-3 years, while the market reacts to employment conditions in the core CBD (even if the tower goes residential, which is most likely). I think any major builder/building owner is going to have to take a long, hard look at the value of their facilities and at prevailing lease rates in the coming years, as it's likely tenants will renegotiate lease terms to lock in the lower rates that are sure to occur. Do keep in mind that the Gallery tower did mostly refill after Legg Mason vacated it for 100 Light. It's not impossible to absorb more office space, but Baltimore does tend to do it slowly.

I'd like to hear from everybody else on who they'd like to see occupy the current Legg Mason building.

I'm just thinking about major tenants from outside the city -- in the suburbs -- that might want the space, given the necessary improvements. What about...
- Coventry Health Care?
- one of our pharmecuticals?
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Old February 14th, 2007, 04:31 AM   #886
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I guess we know what the hold up has been with the Four Seasons. The new design is a marked improvment over the initial design. 36 floors is pretty solid too. I like everything about the update except for the cornice.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 04:42 AM   #887
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I think the Four Seasons and Legg Mason will go up simultaneously. The hotel was most likely a selling point to get Legg into the complex.

This is great news for their old building too. It is still a signature office tower at a premium location. I look for a major multi-million redo of the tower when Legg Mason leaves. That is what traditionally happens when class A space becomes available in an aging structure. The owners redo the building to attract more class A tenants and stay competitive with newer structures.

The Central Business District has finally GROWN after 200 years. Finally, Downtown has expanded. The walk from Fells Point to MLK Boulevard is nothing but mid-rises and high-rises and you can't tell when you transition from Harbor East, to Downtown, to the West Side. It is seemless. If you were from another city visiting you would view the whole area as being Downtown Baltimore. Only those of us who live here divide the area up. Why, I don't know? Perhaps it is our stong identity with neighborhoods when we were children.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 04:51 AM   #888
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Hey maybe the transportation system will catch up
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Old February 14th, 2007, 05:00 AM   #889
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This is pending approval at this point, but sounds like a move in the right direction for bringing med/bio/chem interest into the city.

Quote:
The College of Notre Dame of Maryland could get approval from the state's higher education commission later this month to start a new school of pharmacy that would begin enrolling students by fall 2008.

The Baltimore City women's college's $15 million plan to offer a doctor of pharmacy degree has the support of some of the region's largest hospitals and would help address a nationwide shortage of pharmacists that is expected to reach about 157,000 by 2020, according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
http://baltimore.bizjournals.com/bal...5/story14.html
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Old February 14th, 2007, 05:20 AM   #890
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harlem87 View Post
You won't be happy until ALL of the businesses leaves Baltimore and ALL of the existing Office Towes are torn down and replaced with junk yards, trees, and worned out train tracks.
Harlem: Where do you get this stuff? Nevermind, I think I know.

Everyone else: How does the ban a member process work? We should not allow the members of the forum to be continually subjected to this abuse. Please, let's get this started.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 05:23 AM   #891
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With regard to construction, it is certain that the Legg Mason building will break ground first if Streuver is to make the Summer 2009 deadline. I suspect that we'll see about 6-9 months of foundation/initial construction work on the Legg Mason building before we see much from the 4 Seasons, simply for logistical reasons. If I had to bet, I'd say that this May, we'll see a groundbreaking for LM. By October, 4 Seasons will get underway.

Now perhaps this will get the city to take down the blue lights on Fleet and Eden Sts!!!
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Old February 14th, 2007, 05:31 AM   #892
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On the other thread, an article refered to a 1200 space common underground parking garage, so they'll probably start them simutaneously, I'd gather.

The blue lights can be made to be solid blue or not flashing at all. It's usually up to the community. I hate the flashing blue, but most neighborhoods with them want them that way, so someone there may like it flashing like that.

Nate
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Old February 14th, 2007, 05:31 AM   #893
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern View Post
This is pending approval at this point, but sounds like a move in the right direction for bringing med/bio/chem interest into the city.



http://baltimore.bizjournals.com/bal...5/story14.html
As far as I've heard, the new pharmacy school at Notre Dame is essentially a done deal. I think I've even seen their postings recruiting for a dean. Given the high demand for pharmacists, I'd be extremely surprised if this did not happen. So I would expect them to open the school next fall.
I wouldn't expect it to be a heavy basic science research-oriented school though (at least not early). But I think with all of the biotech developing and the great hospitals around, the opportunity for collaboration is good. Plus, lets not forget the more pharmacy school graduates you have in baltimore, the more likely we're to get some of those good-income earners to stay in the area.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 05:32 AM   #894
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Looks like the hotel AND the Legg Masson offices are one $550 Million project to me.

Upscale’ Harbor East lures Legg Mason
JEN DEGREGORIO
Daily Record Business Writer
February 13, 2007 6:52 PM
Legg Mason Inc.’s decision to move to Inner Harbor East has changed the face of the Four Seasons hotel development, replacing a planned “sister” condominium tower with a signature office building designed specifically for Baltimore’s prized financial firm.

H&S Properties Development Corp., which is developing the Four Seasons project, scratched the condominium plan when it realized Legg Mason was interested in relocating its headquarters to the massive Harbor East project the company is co-developing with Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse.

“We designed this building specifically for their needs,” H&S President Michael S. Beatty said of the 24-story, glass skyscraper designed by California’s Hill Glazier Architects. “For years we’ve talked to [Legg Mason], knowing that they were a big tenant we’d love to have in our project.”

The financial firm wanted to move to new office space in an upscale location that would appeal to workers and clients. Harbor East, a multi-billion dollar, mixed-use development spanning from the Pier Six Concert Pavilion to South Caroline Street, has emerged as one of the city’s hottest destinations. The area now boasts upscale retailers such as Whole Foods supermarket as well as apartments, condominiums, hotels and office space.

“We just thought it would be a terrific retention tool for our employees, particularly younger employees,” Mary Athridge, a spokeswoman for Legg Mason, said.

Come summer 2009, Legg Mason will occupy the smaller of two glass towers that will form the Four Seasons project, located between the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel and the Spinnaker Bay residential community. The larger building will consist of a 240-room Four Seasons hotel, topped with a “limited number” of residential condominiums. H&S declined to reveal the number of condominiums to maintain an air of exclusivity.

Legg Mason will occupy 400,000 square feet of the 500,000-square-foot tower beside the Four Seasons. The remainder of the space will be filled by other office tenants and retailers that will occupy the building’s first two floors, Beatty said. Both buildings will sit atop a 1,200-space, underground parking garage.

All told, the Four Seasons development will cost $550 million.

“This 15-year commitment from Legg Mason has really kicked this project forward,” Beatty said.


Public Assistance

Also pushing the project is the potential for city money. H&S asked the city for “financial assistance” to help subsidize rental rates for Legg Mason. The Baltimore Development Corp., the city’s economic development agency, is considering that request.

“We hope to complete our work in the next couple of months,” said M.J. “Jay” Brodie, the BDC’s president.

Brodie would not specify the kind of economic assistance requested by H&S. But the company has received tax breaks in the past, Beatty said, including a 15-year, 95 percent tax abatement for an office building on Exeter Street in Harbor East.

Beatty declined to say how the potential city funds factored into Legg Mason’s lease agreement. But competitive rents were part of what kept the firm in the city, Brodie said.

The BDC worked with Legg Mason for more than a year to keep the company, whose lease at 100 Light St. expires in 2009, Brodie said.

“Legg has been our No. 1 business-retention activity,” Brodie said. “It was not a foregone conclusion that they would stay in the city.”

Suspicions arose that Legg Mason might leave Baltimore last month, when the company amended its bylaws to allow it to move outside the city. Athridge, the Legg Mason spokeswoman, said the company never considered leaving.

But Brodie said the BDC had discussions with Legg Mason Chairman and CEO Raymond A. “Chip” Mason about the company’s relocation.

“When a company knows its lease is coming up … they do a thoughtful look around,” Brodie said. “They don’t just limit their looking to the city.”

City business leaders say keeping Legg Mason in town is worth any price.

“I think that it’s entirely appropriate for the BDC and the city to look to do [financial assistance] to keep this type of presence in our city,” said Donald C. Fry, president of the Greater Baltimore Committee.

“The benefit should be that it broadens the tax base so that it spreads the revenue out across a broader field and strengthens the city’s position so that it shouldn’t be raising taxes,” said Mark Deering, a broker in the Baltimore office of MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services LLC. “If it weren’t for the commercial tax base, a place like Baltimore couldn’t survive.”
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Old February 14th, 2007, 06:03 AM   #895
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Originally Posted by Javalady1 View Post
Harlem: Where do you get this stuff? Nevermind, I think I know.

Everyone else: How does the ban a member process work? We should not allow the members of the forum to be continually subjected to this abuse. Please, let's get this started.
I agree. You can use the ignore function, but the principle that someone can break the forum rules and all I can do is ignore, bothers me.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 06:16 AM   #896
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I agree. You can use the ignore function, but the principle that someone can break the forum rules and all I can do is ignore, bothers me.
The sad thing is that the guy might have some good input if he would learn how to contain his unilateral mentality. I mean, if I strip his postings of all accusations and insults I actually agree with him from time to time.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 06:19 AM   #897
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Who is the architect? Anyone know?
hill glazier architects.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 06:23 AM   #898
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I agree, however for us from the "dark side", he won't even give us a chance. We're all left-wingers trying to sabotage business/economic growth in Maryland. We've paid off all the Maryland politicians to oppose the ICC and other projects. And we're ignorant southerners who know nothing. It just stupid that I need to be the one to change and not him.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 06:35 AM   #899
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So 4 seasons trades in its condominium building for an office building. Does this mean there is room for another condo tower?
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Old February 14th, 2007, 07:07 AM   #900
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^More likely it makes it more viable for the ones on the drawing boards already. Good news there.

Nate
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